With perfect English, viruses can attack PCs

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 30 November 2009, 08:51 Hrs   |    5 Comments
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With perfect English, viruses can attack PCs
London: Security researchers have pointed out a basic weakness in antivirus tactics, saying hackers could escape computer protection by hiding malware within grammatically correct English-language sentences.

One of the most common ways of hijacking other people's computers is to use 'code-injection' attacks, in which malicious computer code is delivered to and then run on victims' machines. Current security measures work on the assumption that the code used has a different structure to plain text such as English prose. Now a team of researchers has highlighted a potential future threat in the virus-security arms race by working out how to hide malware within English-language sentences.

Josh Mason of John Hopkins University in Baltimore and colleagues developed a way to search a large set of English text for word combination that could be used in code, the New Scientist reported. Nicolas Courtois, a Security Researcher, said malicious code in this form would be "very hard if not impossible to detect reliably."

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